' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: A first/birth mother on opening the door to her child after secrecy ruled her life

Thursday, August 9, 2018

A first/birth mother on opening the door to her child after secrecy ruled her life

A comment too good to leave as simply a comment that will be shared with more people if I make it a full post. It's too good to not share widely:

My family did not know that I had a child that I relinquished. My other children did not know. Very few of my closest friends knew. When the call came that my son was searching for me, I hesitated for an instant. And then I opened the door to this young man who carried a burden his entire life. He thought he was unwanted, unloved, and all alone in the world. He had parents who loved him dearly, gave him all that they had to offer but it still wasn't enough. I too carried a burden. A burden of regret and shame. An unbearable sense of loss. The best thing in my life has been to say "yes" to my first born. No matter what it has cost me, it has cost him more. I would encourage every first mother to say yes to your child. 
Amen. That about says it all, right? --lorraine 

23 comments :

  1. I think this is beautiful. As an adoptee, I searched for my birth mother since 1989. I found her, but she is deceased. I do know her sisters, however, and have a growing relationship with them. My birth father, also found, is also deceased, but I have found two half siblings. I still do not know my two brothers and sister. While I have learned what I know, there will always be that loss for my birth mother. When her sister told me that she was gone, I wept like I had known her. I have always loved her. I have always dreamt of the day that I could tell her. Alas, I won't have that chance, due to the laws hiding us; I hope I can see her in Heaven, if there is one.

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    1. Dear Lori, know that she loved you and mourned the loss of you for all of her life. Hugs and hugs and hugs. Sometimes there are just not enough hugs in the world...

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  2. It's a leap of faith. There is nothing to lose, although it may be a rollercoaster of emotions, there is more loss in not doing it.

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  3. Sometimes, we can say ‘yes’ and open those doors only to be met with long suppressed anger, dysfunction and the awful feeling of suffering the same loss twice. I have a less than successful reunion because my adult child made demands no one could meet, dealt with everything with manipulation and duplicity and tried to cause problems in my relationships with my raised children. I understand what has caused this but all the love and understanding in the world cannot fix someone who cannot see past the darkness inside. I still mourn my child, though my child is alive and functioning, every day. My baby became a hostile, sociopathic wreck. It hurts. Still, I would not turn back the clock and say no. Knowing is always better and offering Love is what mothers (should) do.

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    1. Dear Robin, hugs and hugs and hugs. You are a warrior.

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    2. While my reunion was an ongoing game of relentless interrogation and lies, I would do it again. Knowing Joanna had family that cared for her, and learning that she is well, or as well as can be expected for having lived an adopted life; this is what haunted and made me crazy - the unknown outcome of her adoption. Truth can be cruel and so hurtful, yet, having survived the agony of giving away my baby, reunion has not been a greater cross, and it has brought me to healing. What I have now is the healing that comes with discovering mothers who stand up, speak out, publish their stories, like Lorraine, as well as forums, articles, all of which has given me the gift of sisterhood and a new understanding of what was involved in my having "chosen" adoption. One example of healing is that now I can approach and talk to all babies: I can pick them up and enjoy them without the shame, anxiety, and guilt that possessed me for so so many years. No, we can't unring the bell, but we can help each other to understand the lifetime effects brought to bear by the business of adoption.

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    3. Yes to all the above. Those who have read hole in my heart know that my relationship was anything but easy, yet I never for a moment was sorry I found her. In the nick of time. I couldn't undo the years of confusion and isolation she felt--a result of the double whammy of being adopted and having epilepsy, but yes, life got so much easier once I knew where she was, who she was.

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  4. As an adoptee I love what Lisa said and commend her for her bravery in leaving that comment and also for being brave enough to say YES when her son found her. I hope any first mothers in hiding reading this will be as brave as Lisa was. I am curious how her son found her was it through DNA? I hope they have a happy reunion.

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    1. Hi Susan. He paid the adoption agency Indiana to do a search. He was the brave one though. I can't imagine how scary that must have been for him. I am the lucky one

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  5. I read my son's letter to me Sunday night, told my raised children on Monday, and met him Tuesday evening. I was not risking him changing his mind, or letting him get away again. THIS time I had choices.

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  6. That's so kind Lorraine. I was so lucky to find this forum and all of you. Agreements,disagreements,I always gain something from all who comment here. Thank you for providing a place to share our "Birthmarks" and all of "The holes in our hearts".

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  7. Definitely you can say yes. Sounds trite, but the truth really does set you free. And the truth is, for the most part, not as bad as what our children suppose. It can give them some peace of mind, as well as for you also. Not that everything is great then, but at least the truth is not based on fantasies, fears or lies.

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  8. Opening the door after 34 years of silence was the best decision I ever made. We have grown together over the past nine years, it is work, often sad. But when he calls me Mom I smile every time.

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  9. Good for you Lisa, you did the right thing! Hopefully a good relationship will develop as you move forward with your oldest son back in your life. It is such a relief to be able to be truthful with people about how many children you have, what they all do etc. How old is your son? Mine is now 50, it is a long complicated tale but we are in touch now. I can't believe I have a kid that old! I also have 3 I raised, they are all great.

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  10. "No matter what it has cost me, it has cost him more". I am adopted, and I think this is true. Not all first mother's feel this way.
    I don't think my mother felt this way. I think she thought she did me a favor.

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    1. Maryleee M.
      I am so sorry. Sorry for you, sorry that your mother is not able to deal with the sorrow in a different way than pulling back. Many hugs.

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    2. Marylee,I always thought that I had done the "right" thing for my son. I wanted him to have everything that I didn't have to give. It wasn't until I ssw his very real pain that I realized the error in my thinking. I can't change the first 33 years of his life. But I will spend the rest of my life showing him through thought and deed that he is loved. Hugs to you Marylee. You are loved.

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    3. Marylee, if your mother was counseled by a social worker, chances are she most certainly did think she was doing you a favor. I thought I was doing a favor for my child because she would have "a better life." When we finally did meet up, I expected to be "thanked" for the self-sacrifice I made by surrendering to adoption. I was young, gullible, and believed what the so-called "experts" told me.

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  11. Hi Marianne. He just turned 36. We have been in touch for 3 years. He has shared his two beautiful children and his amazing wife with me. We're have highs and lows.... and I'm grateful for all of it.

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  12. I have regrets and, at the same time, am at a point of peace. I no longer look for a relationship, and I don't look into their lives often... but my daughter and her children will always be in my heart. I note things of importance...my youngest grandson is now attending a very expensive catholic high school...my older grandson is in trouble (I am sure he will sort it out)...etc. But I don't respond or bother much with the situation. I have done all I can. I gave them the truth, medical history, etc., the rest is on them.

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  13. My cousin had 4 more children after giving up her first child born when she was an unwed teenager. Very clear the adopted child had advantages and a better life than what she could have given him. He is much better off than his half siblings and his mother.
    He did satisfy his curiousity but wants little to do with his biological family anymore. My Cousin has been in a horrible depression since meeting her first son and then dropped as far as any relationship with him beyond cards a few times a year. That she is vindicated in her choice in that her son clearly better off in another family still hurts her. A lot of damage to her. We are hoping that her feelings of wanting to commit suicide are situational and will abate as she learns to absorb the relationship and lack thereof. Her other children also hurt and upset. Very little good came out of this. 5 lives very much worse than before the meeting.

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    1. Rebecca:
      That is really sad, and I feel sorry for your cousin. But hasn't she found some peace of mind, knowing her son is happy and healthy? Living and well? Things could always be worse. There's no way to predict or control an adoptee's feelings about his/her situation, and he has a right to his feelings, no one can say that he doesn't. Rejection is possible in a reunion, and probably more likely than not. But isn't it worth it to know that your child is better off then, as was the wish? I'm not sure I understand, perhaps there is more to the situation. If he expressed anger, that's OK, but hate or scorn would not be called for. If so, I hope she can stop taking it to heart. Your cousin did what seemed to be best for him. That counts for something, doesn't it?

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  14. I'm so sorry Rebecca. Unfortunately no one gets away pain free in adoption. I have struggled and still do struggle with my choice... how it affected him, my family, and myself. Therapy helps. Listening to other first mothers helps. Reading this blog helps. A constant reminder to forgive myself for inflicting pain on others and myself helps. And the serenity prayer. That one helps the most.... in the darkest of hours. Wishing peace and self forgiveness to your cousin.

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